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Social Impact Films To Face the Music


Tuesday, 7th October 2014 at 9:26 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Seven Australian documentaries will be presented at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday as part of an international forum linking Australian donors with social impact films.

Tuesday, 7th October 2014
at 9:26 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


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Social Impact Films To Face the Music
Tuesday, 7th October 2014 at 9:26 am

Seven Australian documentaries will be presented at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday as part of an international forum linking Australian donors with social impact films.

The Good Pitch Australia event will see the seven filmmakers pitch their feature documentary and its associated outreach campaign to a judging panel of 10 invited representatives and a theatre of up to 300 participants.

The aim is to get filmmakers, foundations, Not for Profits, campaigners, philanthropists, policy-makers, brands, educators, broadcasters and media to forge alliances around social impact films.

Organisers say a moderated session follows each pitch with the aim of creating a lasting and unique coalition around each film to maximise its impact and influence in the years to come.

This is the first year Good Pitch, the international documentary forum devised by BRITDOC and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, has been brought to Australia by Ian Darling’s Shark Island Institute in partnership with Documentary Australia Foundation.

"Good Pitch is the most rewarding and high impact philanthropic event I have ever experienced, demonstrating the power of philanthropy when it works collaboratively alongside outstanding story-tellers and change-agents,” Shark Island Institute Executive Director Ian Darling said.

“Having attended Good Pitch events in New York, Chicago and London, I'm excited that we are bringing the event to Australia in October this year. The initiative is a key part of our long term strategic support for documentary in Australia.”

Good Pitch Australia Executive Director Malinda Wink said among more than 200 active applicants, organisers received 123 completed submissions.

"Within them were stirring portraits of changemakers, stories that expressed the Australian experience at home and abroad, quiet and beautifully composed projects along with arresting and challenging material. The diversity and quality of the submissions was really impressive,” Wink said.

The seven feature-length documentary projects chosen to present at the Sydney Opera House are:

Call Me Dad / Director: Sophie Wiesner, Producer: Madeleine Hetherton

A story about men who have perpetrated or are at risk of perpetrating family violence. At stake is the safety of children and partners, the stability of families, and the power we as a society have to intervene. These men have problems expressing anger, and other strong emotions, without resorting to abuse, verbal or physical. We follow these men as they attempt to change and heal their most precious relationships.

Constance on The Edge / Director: Belinda Mason, Producer: Marguerite Grey

Walk in the shoes of a Sudanese refugee as she attempts to transform her rural town of Wagga Wagga into a friendlier place. Constance on the Edge tells the story of brave, feisty, charismatic Constance Okot, and her family, who face an uncertain future. Along the way it reveals some of the darker secrets about the community they live in.

Frackman / Director: Richard Todd, Producers: Simon Nasht and Trish Lake

Reluctant activist Dayne ‘The Frackman’ Pratzky, takes us on a journey through the bush as we meet a bunch of ordinary people caught up in a modern day multinational gold rush – the race to secure and exploit coal seam gas. From conservative landowners, to radical activists and town-dwelling families, this unlikely coalition of Australians has come together to protect the health of their communities, land and future.

Gayby Baby / Director: Charlotte Mars, Producer: Maya Newell

At a time when Australia is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, four children with gay and lesbian parents share their stories.  While they each have a unique issue, the kids nonetheless all face the dramas of oncoming puberty and stepping out for the first time into a world that places intense scrutiny on families like theirs.

The Opposition / Director: Hollie Fifer, Producer: Rebecca Barry

In a David-and-Goliath battle over land in Papua New Guinea, Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, must save his 3,000 people before they are evicted to an industrial waste site. Battling it out in the courts – Joe may find his community replaced with an international five star hotel and marina developed by an Australian run company.

That Sugar Film / Director: Damon Gameau, Producer Nick Batzias

It's the most dominant food in the world but how has sugar infiltrated our diet and culture and what is it doing to us?  One man's journey through academia, irreverence, experiment, celebrity, science and vibrant entertainment, That Sugar Film is a saccharine ride exploring the true nature of sugar…and how to start a new life without it.

Zach's Ceremony / Director: Aaron Petersen, Producer Sarah Linton

Zach’s Ceremony follows a city-raised boy and his quest to reconnect with his Indigenous roots as he goes through the ancient rite of initiation. Fuelled by passion, a father and son’s tense and often combative relationship brings into sharp relief the clash of two worlds and the struggle modern-day Australians face connecting with the oldest living culture in the world.

To view a short presentation on Good Pitch² Australia,  click here.

To see live tweets of the Good Pitch event follow @kmahlab, @ProBonoNews and @ProBonoAust on twitter.

Good Pitch Australia is an initiative of Shark Island Institute and Documentary Australia Foundation. Pro Bono Australia, alongside Philanthropy Australia, are Community Partners for the initiative.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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